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February 19, 2009
Doors Open Toronto celebrates 10 years on May 23 and 24
Doors Open Toronto celebrates 10 years of opening doors to more than a million visitors. Explore buildings of architectural, historic, cultural and/or social significance Saturday and Sunday, May 23 and 24. This year, Doors Open Toronto focuses on literary Toronto in collaboration with Lit City - Toronto Stories, Toronto Settings, a three-month festival honouring literary writers who find inspiration in Toronto and use the city as a setting in their work. Readings, walking tours, exhibits and more connect Toronto authors with architecture and “pages with places” at dozens of Doors Open Toronto venues.

Doors Open Toronto has always been about the narrative of the city. As the grand finale of Lit City, Doors Open Toronto connects the imagined city to the real when books meet buildings. Anthony Da Sa leads a tour through Little Portugal, the setting for much of his 2008 Giller Prize-nominated book Barnacle Love. Ward McBurney reads on location from his novel "& after this our exile," set in part at the Horse Palace, an art deco edifice. Many Toronto theatres host Lit City readings by playwrights who evoke Toronto in their work, including the Factory Theatre’s Andrew Moodie and his recent play Toronto the Good.

The Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library spotlights various literary papers from a collection of more than 100 Canadian writers. Union Station, a national historic site, hosts site-specific readings and performances presented by Diaspora Dialogues. Ten Toronto Public Library branches, like Lillian H. Smith (the hub for literary Kensington Market and Chinatown readings), highlight local writers and behind-the-scenes architectural tours. Steam Whistle Brewing in the historic John Street Roundhouse holds its own 10th anniversary celebrations with authors and musicians.

Pre-2008 favourites returning to the roster this year include Windfields Estate, the former E.P. Taylor residence that is now home of the Canadian Film Centre; the gem on Jarvis Street - Canada’s National Ballet School; Redpath Sugar, a rare industrial site on Toronto’s central waterfront; and Yonge Street’s theatrical showcase, the Canon Theatre. In commemoration of Toronto’s 175th anniversary (1834 - 2009), Doors Open Toronto will feature up to 175 buildings, including pre-1834 sites like Fort York National Historic site, Black Creek Pioneer Village and Campbell House.

Doors Open Toronto is produced by the City of Toronto and sponsored by the Toronto Star. For more event information go to

Toronto is Canada’s largest city and sixth largest government, and home to a diverse population of about 2.6 million people. It is the economic engine of Canada and one of the greenest and most creative cities in North America. In the past three years, Toronto has won numerous awards for quality, innovation and efficiency in delivering public services. Toronto’s government is dedicated to prosperity, opportunity and liveability for all its residents.

Media contacts:
Jane French, Doors Open Toronto and Lit City, 416-338-0496,
Vanessa Higgs, Program Development Officer, Cultural Services, 416-338-0045,



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